Physical Distancing to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19

By Christa Poirier, Ottawa Public Health April 23, 2020

In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health recommends that all residents of Ottawa practice physical distancing. Physical distancing means taking steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with. This will help to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

With more cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Ottawa, including from community spread, we are urging that everyone either practice physical distancing or self-isolate. Please see the Ottawa Public Health website for more information on when to self-isolate. 

We know this isn’t easy but each of our efforts are needed as a community. The actions you take will affect not only you, but your loved ones and the most at-risk people in our community. By acting now, you may be saving lives – the life of a family member, a neighbour, a friend, or a coworker.

How to do physical distancing:

  • Avoid all non-essential trips in the community and limit those that are essential.
  • Household contacts (people you live with) do not need to distance from each other unless they are sick or have travelled within the past 14 days.
  • Cancel ALL group gatherings.
  • Connect by via phone, video chat, or social media instead of in person.
  • Talk to your employer about working from home (if possible).
  • Avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives unless the visit is essential.
  • Keep car windows down for essential trips in the community by taxi or rideshares.
  • You can go outside (for example - to take a walk). While outside, avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you. Passing by someone quickly while outside is not considered close      contact.

For more information on testing and care for COVID-19, and how to practice physical distancing,
visit our website: Information on financial and social supports is available on

This is a difficult and challenging time. Check in with yourself. It’s ok to not be ok, and we encourage you to reach out to the Distress Centre of Ottawa to connect with someone at 613-238-3311 if you need help or are having trouble coping.